If you are curious about the reference material check out the first blog!
As there's a lot of tiling wood in this scene my gut instinct is to create these by hand. However I really wanted to see what it was like to create stylised materials in designer. This would mean that if something didn't look quite right I can easily go back and tweak nodes to adjust, or even open up parameters to do it in engine.
I found this material break down on youtube by 2dEx. Although this is a more detailed material than I need for this scene it was really useful nonetheless! I learnt about a few more nodes and how they work specifically when it came to shape manipulation. How they address colour was really interesting as this was something i really struggled with in the past. Using the normal map and a bunch of nodes to break down different low and high lights to get that stylised look was very clever!
I was also working with tessellation. In unreal a lot of my textures were just driven by the normal map. I thought for this scene it would really help save me some time and get some fun variation in the wooden planks.
I've deliberately made the wood more desaturated than normal. Since I want to experiment with different lighting scenarios once all the assets are done the lighting plays a key role in how it changed colour of the wood. For example if I recreated the twilight scene it would make the floor look too saturated and purple if I went with the default rich warm browns and oranges.
After being directed towards this tutorial I was introduced to the Parallax Occlusion node in unreal! This was really handy in applying the tessellation through my height map created in designer into unreal. Giving my floor and walls a little bit for variation.
To contrast the designer method I tried making a basic wood beam tiling texture in Photoshop. Taking this into designer to create the normal, roughness, AO and height information. The result is a little noisy so the normals will need to be turned down. I also feel like I need to add decals to the beams to add line art and edges, or treat them as individual assets.
However the scene is slowly coming together and I am having to tweak some lighting as I go along. I want to focus on some meshes that are bugging me the most and also bring in some colour! So It'll be the lantern and Mabels bed next!